DELMAR — It may not look much like winter, but Bethlehem’s 3rd Winter Carnival served up cold weather fun to an almost 200-person crowd at the Elm Avenue Park warming area on January 27. Carnival goers were treated to hot cocoa, winter crafts, fire pits for roasting marshmallows, a scavenger hunt, and a magician. Roma’s Pizza truck rode along for the first time to feed hungry cold weather warriors.
Skating, however, on the natural ice rink located by the park’s tennis courts melted away for the second year in a row after mother nature refused to cooperate with carnival organizers. When preparing the ice for the carnival, the Town’s ice grooming tractor cracked through the ice cover and sank.
Bethlehem Parks & Recreation Assistant Administrator Heather Maltby said it takes at least a 4” thick ice base before skating is permitted on the ice there. She warned that skating in the area is prohibited when the red flags are flying. Skating has yet to be permitted there this year because of the warm weather. Maltby lamented that since the carnival’s first year there hasn’t been enough ice for skating, but hopes next year will be different. “It’s a bummer we don’t have more snow and ice for skating and sledding, but it’s still a great event,” she said. “It provides a way for people to connect in these gray months.”
For those preferring indoor activities, the day after Winter Carnival, the Town sponsored its second Puzzle Palooza, a one day event featuring a jigsaw puzzle competition in recognition of National Jigsaw Puzzle Day. Six teams of four adults each competed to see who could finish a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle first. Maltby said the event is so popular it may be repeated for families.
The Town Parks & Recreation department is also already preparing for its next winter middle schooler event —Get Air Trampoline Park at Crossgates Mall on February 9 from 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. For two hours, middle school students who are members of Students Craving Really Exciting Activities (SCREAM) can jump on wall to wall trampolines, foam pits and play dodgeball. The Bethlehem Central School District will provide bus transportation to and from the event leaving from Elm Avenue Park. The event will cost $40/student for two hours of jumping, transport and socks. Registration is required.
About 110 Bethlehem middle school students are SCREAM members. Students can join SCREAM each school year for a $10 fee. Students in financial need can obtain membership and/or event discounts by applying on the town’s website.
Photos by Moss Hamilton / Spotlight News
This story was featured on page 3 of the February 7, 2024 edition of The Spotlight.